[This letter was written just five days before Göring's scheduled execution.]

Nuremberg, 10.10.1946

Herr Churchill!

You will now have the satisfaction of outliving me and my comrades in misfortune. I do not hesitate to congratulate you over this personal triumph and the delicacy with which you have brought it about. You and Great Britain have really had to go to great expense for this success. Were I to consider you simple enough to attribute to it more significance than that of a spectacle which you and your friends owe to the peoples whom you manoeuvred into the war against the Greater German Reich and to your Jewish and Bolshevik confederates, then my declaration to you in the penultimate hour of my life would also, in the eyes of posterity, have been wasted on an unworthy man. My pride as a German and as one of the most responsible German leaders in an historic world struggle does the not permit me to waste a single word over the degrading vulgarity procedure employed by the victors in so far at least as it applies to my own person. But, as it is the manifest and declared purpose of this administration of justice to cast the German people themselves into the abysmal depths of being outlawed and, by the removal of the responsible men of the National-Socialist State, to rob them once and for all of all possibilities of future defence. I have, under the judgment which you and your allies have determined in advance, to add a few remarks on the historic subject. I direct these remarks to you because although one of those who knew most about the true background of this war and the possibilities of avoiding it or of ending it in such a stage as would still be tolerable for the future of Europe, nevertheless you refused to your own Tribunal your evidence and your oath. I shall, therefore, not fail to call you in good time before the Tribunal of History and I direct my declaration to you because I know that this Tribunal will, in due course, name you as the man who, with ambition, intelligence and energy cast down the European nations under the wheels of foreign powers.

Before History I establish you as the man who, indeed, had the capacity to cause the downfall of Adolf Hitler and his political work, but who nevertheless, will not be successful in place of the fallen man in again raising the protecting shield against the Asiatic invasion of Europe. Your ambition it was to maintain your position over Germany by means of Versailles, your fate it will be that you succeeded in this. You personify the hardened obstinacy of your old- Master-people but you personify also the obstinacy of their old age, directed against the last great attempts of the revived Germanic Power to decide the fate of Europe in the steppes of Asia and to safeguard it for the future. Long after my responsibility will have found its objective judge in the further development of events, you will have to assume responsibility for the fact that the late bloody war was not the last one which had to be fought out for the vital interests of the Continent on its own territory. You will have to answer for the fact that the bloodbath of yesterday will be followed by a still greater one and that Europe will have to make its stand for life or death not at the Volga but at the Pyrenees. It is my warm wish that you will at least live to see the day on which the world, and especially the Western nations, will have to learn by bitter experience that it was you and your friend Roosevelt who, for the sake of a cheap triumph over National-Socialist Germany, sold their future to Bolshevism. This day will come more quickly than you like and, in spite of your advanced age, you will thus probably still be active enough to see it dawn blood-red over the British islands also. I am convinced that it will bring you all those terrible surprises which, this time, through the fortune of war or because of the German Command's abhorrence of a complete degeneration of the struggle between our kindred peoples, you have escaped. My knowledge of the nature and extent of the new weapons and projects which, largely due to your military aid, have fallen as booty to the Red Army, empowers me to make this prophecy.

You will, as is your custom, no doubt waste no time in writing good memoirs and you will write them all the better because now none can hinder you in reporting or concealing just what you wish. Nevertheless, you will be powerless against those corrections which the development of events, precipitated by you, will unflinchingly undertake. It will then be your affair to give the peoples the answer to the questions which you have not given to your sham Tribunal and which you have refused to give, not so much to us who wish to have to thank your fairness for nothing, but to historical truth.

You think that you have arranged things cleverly by throwing this historical truth on the dissecting table for the legal sophistries of a handful of ambitious juridical subordinates, and allowing it to be turned into a dialectal treatise of paragraph-quibbling, although you as a Briton and a statesman know all too well that, by such means, the vital problems of the peoples could not in the past be solved or judged, and that they will not be so solved in the future. I have a too-well-founded opinion of your strength and of the cunning of your intelligence for me to think you capable of believing the vulgar catchwords with. which you sustain the war against us and seek to glorify your victory over us in a circus-like spectacle. As one of the highest military, political and economic leaders of the Greater German Reich I herewith declare once more, with all emphasis, that this war was unavoidable only because the policy of Great Britain under your personal influence and that of your adherents was stubbornly. directed in all spheres to blocking the way to the vital interests and the natural development of the German people, and that you, filled with senile ambition to maintain the British hegemony, preferred the second world war to an understanding-sincerely and again and again striven and hoped for on our side-on a basis tolerable for the two most prominent nations of Europe and paying regard to their natural functions and interests. I declare here once more most emphatically that the sole guilt of the German people for the world war, forced on by you, is that it sought finally to make an end of the eternal distress. which you ingeniously maintained and cunningly stirred up. It would be carrying coals to Newcastle were I to speak my mind to you about the causes, necessities and motives which, in the course of war, led to the political and military difficulties which your legal zealots, so certain of their aim, have managed to draw upon so one-sidedly at the cost of the National-Socialist Government of the German people.

The devastated area of European civilization and its historical treasures now lying in ruins still bear witness today in the first place of the desperate bitterness with which a great and proud people yesterday fought with incomparable self-sacrifice for its very existence.

Tomorrow, however, they will bear witness of the unscrupulousness with which alone the superior numbers led on to the field by you could bring about the subjection and deprivation of the rights of this People.

But the day after tomorrow the ruins will bear witness of that betrayal which has surrendered Europe to Red Asia.

The Germany which you have beaten will, through its very collapse, revenge itself on you. For neither have you carried out a better policy than we have, nor have you given evidence of greater efficiency and bravery. You have to thank for your victory, not better qualities or an imaginary superiority of your own strength and skill, but, solely and after six years, the preponderance of your coalition. Do not take it for that which you allege it to be. You and your country will soon harvest the fruits of your political skill. What you, an experienced cynic, would not admit as valid in our case (namely: that our struggle in the East was the highest defense action not only for Germany but acts and also at the same time for Europe and is the actual justification for measures of the German conduct of the war which you, from your side, so plainly and concisely condemn in detail) your present-day ally and friend Stalin will soon prove to you and to the British Empire. You will then experience what it means to fight against this opponent and you will learn that your necessity. also knows no law, and that you cannot oppose him successfully either with lawyers' treatises or with the weight of Great Britain and its European dwarfs. You have advanced the assertion for the German people that for you it was principally a question of the restoration of its democratic form of life. You have, however, not uttered a single word that you are concerned for the restoration of reasonable conditions of life, of which it has now been deprived for a quarter of a century.

Your name stands beneath all the principal documents of this era of British lack of understanding and jealousy of Germany. Your name will also stand beneath the result: that this era of the liquidation of Germany from history challenges the existence of Europe.

My faith in the vital strength of my people is unshakable. This People will be stronger and will live longer than you. But it pains me that it is handed over to you without means of defending itself and that it now also is one of those unhappy victims who, thanks to your success, now face not an age of prosperous work for the accomplishment of those common tasks set by good sense for the peoples of the West, but the greatest common catastrophe of their common history. I spare myself the dispute over excesses with which, rightly or wrongly, you reproach us and which corresponds neither to my points of view nor to that of the German people, and also over those excesses which have been committed on your side and on that of your allies against millions of Germans. For I know that under cover of this pretext, you have made the whole German people the object of collective excesses of an extent never previously found in the whole of world history, and that also without this pretext you would not have acted differently in your treatment of Germany because, since 1914, you have steadfastly and stubbornly envisaged and striven for no other goal than the destruction of the German Reich. This, your historic object in view, denies to you your claim to the office of judge over the avoidable and unavoidable consequences which your cold-blooded and steady pursuit of your aims provoked, or which were welcome to you as subsequent evidence for the justification of your endeavor. I regret today, as mine and the National-Socialist Government's gravest mistake, solely the fateful error to which I and our policy succumbed in our judgment of your power of discernment as a statesman. I regret that I attributed to you the discernment of the world political necessity of a satisfied and prosperous Germany for the existence of the British Empire also. I regret that our strength and our means were not sufficient to wring from you, even in the very last minute, the better knowledge that the liquidation of Germany will be the beginning of the liquidation of the British world-power. We took our places and acted each according to his law. I according to the new law, for which this Europe is already too old; you according to the old law, for which this Europe is no longer important enough to the world.

I shall manage to go my way to the end in the sure consciousness that as a German National-Socialist I was, in spite of everything, also a better European than you. I leave the verdict over this calmly to posterity, where in accordance with my sincere wish you may belong and live as long as possible. Perhaps Fate will then offer you a chance which you have offered me: of leaving behind in the ruin a Verity.

Hermann Göring